PART 3 – Confessions of a Junk Food Junkie – The 21 Day Cleanse

 

Here We Go!  Just an FYI, I have set this up with some basic info and facts for you first.  But I have then written this process in somewhat of a story form, hoping that if you decide to go on this journey, you will feel like you’re not doing it alone and maybe enjoy some of my experiences along the way with you!

Now, let’s start with the good news…

 We are allowed:  veggies, fruits, and proteín powder in the shakes, plus a serving of brown rice, wild rice, or lentils each day, plus supplements that are on the website if we want, but Alex and I did not use any supplements other than the 7 cleanse capsules a day. I know what you’re thinking about the no meat thing, but it’s only for the first 11 days and you may not even want it after that.

And as for the bad news? There isn’t any. So get used to thinking and believing you have everything you need to see an amazing change in yourself within the 21 days.

On the 11th day, you may add small portions (palm thickness and size) of 3.5 oz. of cooked fish that is deep sea, like salmon, cod, and sea bass – not farm-raised if you can help it. You can also have chicken that is organic, free range, antibiotic free, and hormone free, if possible. Prepare by broiling, baking, roasting, or poaching. No cured, smoked, or luncheon meats. And by the way, there are NO processed foods allowed on this plan.

***You’ll see that I’ve varied at times from the exact guidelines. I have sautéed things, eaten larger portions, added Lara Bars in on a regular basis, and cheated in bits and pieces, but in controlled moderation. That’s why I watch what the scale is doing.

.BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE BEFORE YOU START THE CLEANSE. It’s www.standardprocess.com This is how you will know what is allowed and what’s not. Don’t start until your leftovers, junk foods, and other temptations at home have been replaced by your new foods.  It is helpful to have the food list printed out for quick access.

 *** And by the way, Alex and I did NOT exercise AT ALL on this cleanse and we still lost weight. We were just too busy, and at the time, I had a sciatic nerve problem and he had hip issues and we just wanted to concentrate more on restoring and fueling our bodies with the proper foods for 21 days. (That should make you exercise-haters happy)

*** One more side note:  as you start to clear your body of toxins, caffeine, etc., you may experience a headache after a day or two, but don’t worry, just drink extra water and move forward. You should be drinking 64oz. a day anyway.

DAY 1             Starting Weight:     Susan:  154 lbs.  (Yeah, the part where you put                                                                                           yourself out there. Get over it.)                                                           Alex:  240 lbs.

Sunday

 ***(I know this can be a bit of a pain and possibly somewhat embarrassing, but DO record your weight at the start, and on a daily basis.  If the scale goes up a bit one day, make those portion adjustments or whatever you think, to have a great next day.  You might even want to record your waist size at the beginning and the end. Be sure to pick a spot like your belly button to stay consistent. Weighing ourselves every morning under the exact conditions has been encouraging for us.)

*** The shake ingredient sizes are usually about 16-oz. for each of us. For about the first week, I had a 12 oz. cup until I dropped it on the floor, breaking it. After that, I bought myself a new one and it just happened to be a 16-oz size. We use the ones you see everywhere now. Clear plastic, with a lid and a straw that comes with it.  You can sip on these shakes on and off all day if you want.  Sometimes a swig or two will keep your appetite under control for a couple of hours!

The measurements of the shake ingredients are always a little hit and miss. I tend to do things that way. But whatever I put in the blender seems to give each of us enough for two 16-oz shakes.

 This morning we had a shake with ½ orange, ½ apple, 1 pear, 1 c. spinach, ½  banana, 1c. celery, water, and 1 scoop of Garden of Life’s Raw Meal Replacement Protein powder. You can add in some ice to make it thicker and colder if your blender allows. And be sure to use the cores and leave the peels on whenever possible for the extra vitamins; a good reason to buy organic.

Originally, I chose the Garden of Life Raw Meal” – Beyond Organic Meal Replacement Formula protein powder because it’s intended to be a meal replacement and has lots of vities in it. It is raw, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Two scoops (the serving size) has 34g of protein and 270 calories. For most of the cleanse, I only used one, to one and a half for the whole 28 to 32 ounces of shake. It’s your call.

Garden of Life also makes a raw protein powder called Beyond Organic Protein Formula. One scoop (the serving size) has 17g of protein, and 80 calories for when you want something lighter.

I’ve since discovered other protein powders that have found a home on my “Protein Shake Shelf” as well. Some of them are:  Vega: Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer – All-in-one, natural plant-based formula. They have four flavors – Chocolate, Berry, Vanilla, and Natural. I have only tried the Chocolate and Berry flavors. They taste great and add some sweetness to the shake. They have Stevia in them, which is a natural sweetener, so not to worry. The Vega brand was invented by an Ironman tri-athlete, Brendan Brazier, author of Thrive – The Vegan Nutrition Guide. Two scoops (serving size) is 240 calories with 26g of protein, and tons of vities.

Another one of my favorites is Manitoba Harvest – Hemp Foods and Oils – Certified Organic Hemp Protein. I must admit, the title intrigued me. And when the guy in the health food store told me his favorite flavor was their dark chocolate, I tossed that baby in my cart without another thought. A serving size on this one is 4T., and that will get you 9g fiber, 8g protein, 400mg Omega-3, and 120 calories.

Having a variety on our shelf has allowed us to have some fun with the different flavors and satisfy our moods each day.

 *** ALWAYS read the ingredients on the jars for things you might be allergic to, before you buy. Our daughter cannot use the Garden of Life because it has a sunflower product in it. She has an allergy to sunflower seeds and pistachios.  Look for protein powders that work for you, making sure they have at least 8 grams of protein per serving.

I’m not using exact recipes on this cleanse, but rather making things up as I go. The eating plan for Alex and I, is based on whatever happens to be in the fridge. And that is pretty freeing since everything in it, is allowed on this cleanse…right?  (Your pre-cleanse homework)  

The rule of thumb is to try to have twice as many veggies as fruit. The morning shakes for us are about half fruits, and half veggies, but we really make up for the veggies on our dinners and lunches. Alex gulps his morning shake down pretty fast, but I carry mine around with me all day and take occasional sips that work well to stifle my appetite.

The taste of our first shake was great. No complaints. I’m not used to drinking my meals. And normally, I would say I’ll never choose drinking a meal over something I can chew, but I’ve become a firm believer in the power of these shakes. The vitamins from the raw, whole, organic foods are extremely important to start the day off right.

 Before this cleanse, I never really ate organic. Now I say, “Always use organic when you can.” There are plenty of reasons to eat organic, and here are 15 from the website www.Care2.com :

Organic food is higher in nutrients

  1. They’re free of neurotoxins toxins that are damaging to brain and nerve cells. A commonly-used class of pesticides called organophosphates was originally developed as a toxic nerve agent during World War I. When there was no longer a need for them in warfare, industry adapted them to kill pests on foods. Many pesticides are still considered neurotoxins.
  2. They’re supportive of growing children’s brains and bodies. Children’s growing brains and bodies are far more susceptible to toxins than adults.
  3. They are real food, not pesticide factories. Eighteen percent of all genetically-modified seeds (and therefore foods that grow from them) are engineered to produce their own pesticides. Research shows that these seeds may continue producing pesticides inside your body once you’ve eaten the food grown from them! Foods that are actually pesticide factories…no thanks.
  4. Buying organic helps reduce pollution in our drinking water.
  5. Organic food is earth-supportive.
  6. Organic food choices grown on small-scale organic farms help ensure independent family farmers can create a livelihood. Consider it the domestic version of fair trade.
  7. Most organic food simply tastes better.
  8. Organic food is not exposed to gas-ripening, like some non-organic fruits and vegetables (like bananas).
  9. Organic farms are safer for farm workers. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health found a 70 percent increase in Parkinson’s disease among people exposed to pesticides.
  10. Organic food supports wildlife habitats.
  11. Eating organic may reduce your cancer risk. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides are potentially cancer-causing. It is reasonable to think that the rapidly increasing rates of cancer are at least partly linked to the use of these carcinogenic pesticides.
  12. Choosing organic meat lessens your exposure to antibiotics, synthetic hormones, and drugs that find their way into the animals and ultimately into you.
  13. Organic food is tried and tested. By some estimates, genetically-modified food makes up 80% of the average person’s food consumption. Genetic modification of food is still experimental. Avoid being part of this wide scale and uncontrolled experiment.
  14. Organic food supports greater biodiversity. Diversity is fundamental to life on this planet. Genetically-modified and non-organic food is focused on high yield monoculture and is destroying biodiversity.

Late Morning, not being used to drinking my meals, I felt hungry like I needed to chew something, so I had some dark leafy lettuce with a small amount of olive oil drizzled over. I sprinkled about a tablespoon of a green salad type spice we bought off a street vendor when we were in Turkey last fall. I had originally bought it to mix with olive oil to dip fresh, crusty baguettes in, but since there’s no bread allowed, I’m experimenting in other ways. (Cruelness at its finest)

I must say, this type of eating is strange to me, not gooping salads all up with everything in sight, but it did satisfy me. I felt a bit like a traitor to my old habits, but in a pleasantly arrogant way.

 ***It is important to remember to pace yourself with a minimum of 64oz. of water required each day. If you have to, divide your water bottles up for the day, and ALWAYS have water readily available in FRONT of you. This is my biggest challenge. Taking 6-8 gulps every time you remember works much better for me than a sip here and there.

Afternoon, Alex came home from checking on a jobsite (Sunday, I know), and hadn’t eaten anything since this morning’s shake. The man was on a mission. He blew by me, washed his hands as if preparing for surgery, then made a b-line for the fridge. He pulled out ½ of a sweet potato leftover from last night’s dinner, a handful of spinach, a chunk of onion, a stalk of celery, hot water, miscellaneous seasonings, and an orange bell pepper. He then lined them up in front of our new Blendtec Blender we’d bought at Costco the day before. (I have since switched to the Vita-Mix, but either should be fine).  The mad scientist proceeded to mix his concoction in the new toy as if he’d done it a thousand times before.

“Whatcha makin’?” I asked.

“Soup.”

“Sounds good. Can I have some too?”

“Yep.”

He pushed the “soup” button that blends it hot with the help of hot water, and we watched the ingredients swirl their way around. It shut off automatically and Alex poured us each a mug. It was really good. When I finished mine, I thought I would like to have some more. Liquid food never satisfied me fully, but I forced myself to wait about 20 minutes or so, then realized I really didn’t need more. If anything, what I felt was that urge to snack mindlessly while being pre-occupied with whatever else I am doing. This is exactly what I am trying to change.

Alex liked the soup too but his need to chew had him back in the kitchen for some frozen berries. But no milk with them. No dairy products allowed. Calm down, calm down. Just trust me. We’ve always had a lot of dairy in our diets. This would be quite the challenge. It didn’t help that he had gone so long without eating or drinking anything for about 5 hours. And he’s worse than I am about the water intake. I had eaten that little salad I mentioned earlier and that is the trick. It is important to eat small meals often throughout the day. Even if it’s a couple of bites of something left over from the last night’s dinner. It will kill a big appetite. You will get used to this. Check your Standard Process list regularly for suggestions. Print it off and keep handy. Or maybe you people with those fancy smart phones can come up with a better idea.  (I was still using a Blackberry when I did this cleanse)

This Evening, we were looking forward to our first real meal. Whatever that means. I steamed some cauliflower and carrots, sprayed them lightly with organic olive oil, then sprinkled with saffron from Turkey, Lawry’s Season Salt, garlic salt, and mixed it all up. If you don’t have a sprayer for the oil, it works well to pour a tablespoon of olive oil into your hand, rub together, then mix the veggies, allowing the oil to spread evenly over them.

We had them with some organic brown rice that comes already cooked and moist in these bowl things that you put in the microwave for 90 seconds. Very convenient. They fit right in with my gourmet cooking skills. They come 6-bowls to a package and I got them at Costco. Alex ate the whole bowl which counts as 2 servings and I ate what seemed to be what I needed, which was about 1/3 – ½ of a bowl, saving the rest in case I needed a carb fix later. We also had thin asparagus stems and thinly sliced green bell peppers, sauteed with some seasonings (choose the seasonings you like), and olive oil. Delicious! It was a great complement to the meal.  We were very satisfied and didn’t feel the need to snack in front of the TV, for a change.

After dinner, we got the “text message” we’d been waiting for. Our daughter Riann was in the early stages of labor. I stayed up later than usual, and Alex was exhausted, so he went to bed. Around 10pm, I made a green smoothie and drank about 1 cup as I waited for the next text message. It was good. Alex had been up all night the night before, working. He needed the sleep.

I headed for the hospital around midnight. I really wasn’t very hungry from 12am to 4am, but a little, so I had a few bites of the plain, leftover brown rice I’d stuck in my purse and it was perfect. I had also brought a ½ banana and some carrots but didn’t need them.

 DAY 2                        Susan:  150.5 lbs    Alex:  234.5 lbs

                        Susan Lost to Date:  3.5 lbs        Alex Lost to Date:  5.5 lbs

 Monday

At 4:02am this morning, Alex and I became first-time grandparents! Riann delivered a beautiful baby boy, “Phoenix” – 6lbs. 15oz. What a doll! Riann, Stu (her husband), and little “Nix” did great! I got back to the house around 6:30am and slept for a few hours. When I woke up, Alex was standing next to his new best friend, the blender. On the counter sat two mugs filled with our smoothies.

“Thanks for thinking of me”, I said, assuming the second mug was for me.

“You’re welcome. I don’t want you begging for some of mine.” I knew that feeling.

“So what’s in it?” I took a small sip, hoping the rich purple color wouldn’t stain my teeth for the entire day. “It’s good.” Too good, I thought. Like candy good.

“Well, I put a scoop of that proteín powder in it, some frozen blueberries and frozen raspberries, and a whole banana.”

“Uh-huh.” I knew it. Where were the vegetables?  “And what veggies did you put in it?”

There was dead silence.  “I forgot to put them in.”

*   *   *

I headed back to the hospital for a bit, but not before reminding him (in a nice way, of course), of the importance of adding veggies to the shakes.

Due to the excitement of the new baby, I missed writing down the exact ingredients for lunch, but we did use the blender again for some soup similar to Alex’s yesterday. I think I added a couple of carrots today instead of the sweet potato. I am amazed at the wholesome ingredients that we’re eating now. It blows me away to see all those raw and nourishing, healthy veggies going into my body. I’m really starting to realize how badly I’ve been depriving my body of nutrients!

***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!

Dinner, was another nice treat. I micro-waved a big acorn squash cut in half for about 6 minutes to give it a start and then baked it in the oven about 10 minutes on 500 degrees (only because I’d forgotten to turn the oven down). That actually worked out great. Then I turned the squash upwards like a bowl and filled it with a mixture of chopped pear, minced dried-up old white raisins I found in the pantry, and sprinkled in some seasoning salts, (probably Lawry’s – I use that on everything), a dash of cayenne, and mixed it all up with about a tablespoon of melted real butter – (Okay, I’m a rebel.) I broiled it for about 5-8 minutes while I finished up with the rest of the meal. It was delicious and filling!

I also cooked up some lentils and mixed in some fresh cut tomatoes, raw sweet onion, fresh cilantro, olive oil, and seasonings to taste. Delicious!!!

The third thing we had, was steamed, chopped turnips. We ate them and I guess we enjoyed them but I found myself trying to get the bitterness to go away the whole time, so I added some garlic olive oil and other seasonings, but I think I’ll just have to acquire a taste for them or strike them off the list.

It was another wonderful dinner. Again, it was amazing to feel satisfied after a meal. In the past, we always started out with a healthy meal, but ended up eating junk food and big bowls of ice cream in front of the TV. I’m already starting to feel lighter, not just with my body but with my mind, if that makes any sense.

I stayed up later than Alex and by the time I hit the sack, I was craving something. The need seemed to be for ice cream and nuts. Of course it would. Neither are allowed. I opened the freezer door knowing there might still be some leftover Blue Bell vanilla ice cream that I had recently become addicted to. There was. I listened to hear if Alex was snoring upstairs. He was. I got a spoon, pried open the lid, and scraped out just about a tablespoon of it.  I’m not perfect. Every taste-bud in my mouth reached out, embracing the rich creamy sweetness as it melted down the sides of my tongue. I then pushed the lid back on the box and jammed it into the freezer. It took several tries, causing me to wonder if it was a sign for another bite, but then it finally went in.

That’s when the bowl of whole walnuts in the shell caught my eye. The bowl started rattling until one popped out and landed in my hand. I reached into the drawer, grabbed the nutcracker, and tried to muffle the sharp crack, as not to wake up Alex. I carefully extracted each piece, gnawing the broken bits of nutty flavor between my front teeth and the tip of my tongue. That was it. I could go to bed now. I was completely satisfied for the day.

DAY 3                        Susan:  149 lbs.      Alex:  234 lbs. 

                        Susan Lost to Date:  5 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  6 lbs

Tuesday

 In the Morning, we got a late start on breakfast. I was more in the mood for something like soup and Alex agreed that would be fine. I was also in the mood for something a bit more chewable. I decided to take some leftover lentils (maybe about ¾ c.) from the night before, and add them into the blender which already consisted of a carrot, spinach, onion, fresh cilantro, red curry powder, Hungarian paprika, Lawry’s, and hot water. This time, instead of putting it on the “soup” feature that blends it very fine, I used the Pulse button and played around with it. It was still drinkable but thicker, no doubt due to the lentils and less blending. It was delicious.

 “I’ve got a lunch appointment at Racine’s restaurant today”, he said.  His voice was nervous and shaky, like he was telling me he had to take a weekend business trip with an ex porn star. I just stared at him for a minute, trying to figure out what to say.

“Wow.”

“I guess I’ll just have a salad” he said, his eyes burrowed into mine for a glimpse of compassion.

“Yeah.”

I can’t remember Alex ever having ordered a “salad” in a restaurant that served all the “good” stuff. We went over the rules again, and he moseyed out the door.

By the way, I did fess up this morning about the tablespoon of ice cream and nut last night. I wanted to let him know that I was taking responsibility for my choices, and that my goal was to learn moderation so that I could enjoy most things in life. It came off pretty rational sounding.

I didn’t visit Riann, Stu, and “Nix” at the hospital today because they were completely exhausted and bombarded with medical staff and visitors all day after a sleepless night. They actually asked the doc if they could go home a day early just to get some rest, but were refused. So I was home alone all afternoon and didn’t have to worry about feeding Alex.

***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!  (Yes, I will keep bringing this up)

Early Afternoon, I poured myself a tiny bowl of the plain, cooked lentils in their juice (about ¾ c.) and added some Celtic salt, and probably the Lawry’s (It seems to bump up the flavor on everything), and a dash of cayenne, and heated it up. Wow, it was delish! Normally, I would have had 4 times that amount because portion control was not part of my vocabulary, but today, it just didn’t seem necessary to over-eat. Such an unfamiliar concept.

Alex called after his lunch to update me on his meal at Racine’s. He sounded quite pleased. He ordered a Greek salad minus the feta, croutons, and dairy, manipulating the dressing on the side, with the fork-dipping technique. He said he was very happy with his meal.

My girlfriends Bernie and Melissa were going to be at my house at 4pm. We were going to the National Western Stock Show in Denver. I needed to eat before they came, and prep for the evening. So around 3pm, I started by grabbing a ripe avocado, slit it in half and filled the hole with some malt vinegar, a little olive oil, and Celtic salt. I don’t even think avocadoes are on the cleanse but it seemed like a healthy choice and they were rotting on the counter. It was delicious but I wanted something with it. I reached into the fridge for those leftover turnips, hoping I could mix them with the avocado half for more of a meal. I then sprinkled some Raspberry Balsamic on the turnips to lessen their bitterness and they were a little better, but I’ll tell you, you really have to develop a taste for those things.

So, what would it take to sustain me all evening and keep me away from the chili foot-longs, French fries, and pork sandwiches drenched in BBQ sauce? And the beer stands? A miracle, I thought. I dug out one of those bowls of pre-cooked rice, and scooped half of it into a Ziploc bag. It wasn’t much, but these smaller portion sizes seemed to be working so I went with it. I then cut up a carrot, ½ apple, and ½ banana, and put them into a second Ziploc with a plastic fork for the rice, and was ready for a night at the Stock Show. Pathetic. I shoved both bags deep into my coat pockets with a bottle of water, hoping not to be busted at the door.

I made it through the Stock Show gates without a strip search. It was around 5:30pm when we decided to “eat.” Melissa and Bernie stood in a long line of “sa-tur-ees” (Yeah, bad joke but I was jealous) waiting to order, while I looked for a table. I began to unpack my pockets as inconspicuously as possible, all the while imagining a massive stock show guard reaching for my snack-sized bag of carrots.

“Outside food ain’t allowed in these parts.” He or she would say.

“You call this stuff food? These here carrots an’ apple slices is so’s I kin feed the animals. Who else would eat this stuff?”

Then he or she would narrow their eyes, nodding in agreement, and walk away feeling like we’d bonded over the meaning of real food. I drew my Ziplocs in closer.

I could see Berns walking toward me. With each step, the steam from the pile of French fries blew over her shoulders with the grace of the American Flag firmly secured by a rider on horseback. In her other hand, rested the most beautiful foot-long hotdog I’d ever seen, smelling rich with flavor, and no doubt smoked. I used the side of my carrot to scrape the drool from my mouth. I’m sure Melissa showed up at some point. I pried open the other Ziploc, exposing the deep rich aroma of plain brown rice.

“Is that rice cooked?” Bernie asked.

“Yes, Berns, it is.”

“Isn’t it cold?”

“Yes, Berns, it is.”

I glanced around to see if anyone was looking, and took a bite of my banana. I ate about half of it, a few apple slices and some carrot sticks, and a couple bites of the rice. I was surprisingly satisfied, especially when I noticed the saturated fat oozing its way out of Bernie’s fries with each bite she took.

I scanned the feeding grounds for a trash can to dispose of the empty brown rice snack bag. The beer stand behind me got in the line of sight. It was just a matter of time. But apparently, cowboys only drink Bud Light and Coors Light. I’d always called them the ‘Why bother’ beers, making it easier to find that trash can.

We were ready for the Rodeo to start. I had eaten my dinner and I felt great. Melissa on the other hand looked pale and said the food was sitting on her stomach like a lead weight, and that she didn’t feel so good. She said she hadn’t eaten fast food since 1992. I did a quick flashback to see if I was even born.

We were plunking ourselves into our seats, ready for the show to begin when Bernie realized she’d lost her beautiful leather coat she had draped over her purse while walking. She headed back out of the arena to look for it. The old me would have yelled out, “Oh, Berns, can you grab me another foot long and a beer while you’re out there?” But not tonight. There were changes a happenin’.

Bernie came back about 20 minutes later without the coat. Everyone she asked, told her the Coliseum didn’t have a Lost and Found. Sounded ridiculous. “We’ll find the Lost and Found before we leave,” I told her. Halfway through the performance, she went back out, checked with some vendors, and found a police officer who told her where the Lost and Found was. She came back with the jacket and we were all happy.

I was used to eating all the time. I’d never sat through any performance, movie, class, lecture, you name it, without eating something. And I don’t mean carrots. I don’t know if it was force of habit, or if I was a bit hungry or it was the power of suggestion when the popcorn and cotton candy bags came by, but I reached into the remaining Ziploc and ate a carrot stick and a slice of apple and sipped some water during the two hour performance. I had become the person I never could relate to. But I was satisfied. What was happening? I’d been transported into the body of someone sensible.

When I got home, I didn’t run to the fridge or the pantry like I normally do. I returned a call to my son, Max, who’s living in L.A. as a drummer. I actually talked with Max on the phone for 24 minutes and 53 seconds without having to shove something into my mouth. It was about 10:30pm when I got off the phone and I called upstairs to Alex who was still working on the computer.

“Hi, I’m home.”

“Do you want to watch a show?” he yelled down.

“Sure.”

I was standing in the kitchen when he came down. Force of habit, I guess. He poured some frozen berries into a cup. It would be the first time I’d see him eat frozen berries in front of the TV that weren’t in an over-sized bowl joined by cereal and milk, or a mound of ice cream.

I don’t think I was really hungry but I figured if we were going to watch a show for an hour or so, I would be by the end of it, so it would be better to eat something now rather than right before bed. So I fixed myself a tiny bowl of those lentils. An unheard of ¾ cup, the smallest I’ve ever had. About an hour and a half later, I cracked open one walnut and went to bed for a good night’s sleep.

DAY 4                        Susan:  148 lbs.      Alex:  232.5 lbs. 

                        Susan Lost to Date:  6 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  7.5 lbs

 Wednesday

It’s rare for me to commit fully to a diet or a cleanse, or anything that has to do with giving something up. So the fact that I’ve just completed 3 full days and am actually enjoying this new change, it’s a bit mind-boggling.

The Morning

I heard the blender going crazy in the kitchen. And yes, it really is as loud as the reviews stated, but I didn’t care. It meant food. I hoped Alex had made enough for me too. As I rounded the corner I could see two filled mugs of a rich magenta colored smoothie. My eyes lit up.

“Oooh, thank you!” I said. It finally occured to me that in the last three days, I hadn’t automatically darted straight to the coffeemaker. In fact, I hadn’t even thought about coffee.

“Do you like it?” He asked.

“Yeaaah, what’s in it?”

“Fresh pineapple, frozen mixed berries, a banana, and a scoop of the protein powder. I forgot the spinach.”

It was delicious. Alex always tends to use the frozen mixed berries, giving it that dark red, stain-your-lips look. I like to make it look more green, as a reminder that I’m getting the veggies that I normally wouldn’t eat. Subliminal pats on the back with each sip, I guess.

***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!

I worked at the computer the rest of the morning until about 2:30pm. I just didn’t feel hungry. Every now and then I’d take a small sip of the smoothie which seemed to keep my appetite under control. But I figured I should eat small amounts regularly, so I headed to the kitchen for something bigger. Upon entering, the power of suggestion made me feel hungry. What would be the most filling? I grabbed a sweet potato from the pantry and was just about to microwave it when I realized I was cold from sitting at the computer for so long, so I poured myself a cup of hot water and sipped on it. It was delicious. I thought I might be starting to lose my mind.

While I was enjoying my hot water, I looked at my vitamins and some pills I was supposed to take for that sciatic nerve problem I’d developed a couple of weeks ago. I’m really not hungry, I thought, but I should take these pills. The water had filled me. The thought of a sweet potato seemed like too much now, but a tiny bowl of the leftover lentils in the fridge would be really tasty with the right ingredients added in.

I decided to heat up about a cup of it, but first I cut up some cilantro, green pepper, onion, and tomato, and put them in the bowl before I added the lentils. I then added the lentils, which were not near as much as I had intended to use, but the veggies had taken most of the room, teaching me a good technique for future meals. I added my favorite spices, which included a red curry powder, ancho chili powder, and Lawry’s Seasoning, and a bit more hot water to make it soupy. It was wonderful. I wanted another bowl immediately after I finished because it was so good, but I knew I should wait. I soon forgot about a 2nd bowl. Three hours later, I was still not hungry.  I believe that my stomach was actually starting to shrink.

When Alex got home around 6pm, he was hungry. I’m pretty sure that’s what got him home early for a change. He fixed himself a bowl of the lentils to hold him over until dinner. I hadn’t started dinner and had intended earlier to stop at the store for an exciting new vegetable, but I knew I could get by on leftovers.

I yelled up to Alex, who was already upstairs working at his computer with his bowl of lentils. “Is there any way we could skip a big meal tonight and just snack on some leftovers?”

“No, I’m hungry. I want to eat.”

“Okay,” I sighed. It was just crazy. All those cravings no longer existed. “I’ll run up to the store and get something.”

I headed out the door to King Soopers. As I walked down the produce aisle, I saw those nasty turnips laughing as if they’d pulled one over on me the other night. Next to them were the rutabagas. I had no idea what rutabagas tasted like. For all I knew, they could have been worse. But I was in no mood for defeat. I fondled a few of the rutabagas in front of the turnips. I grabbed two. “These look nice,” I said loud enough for the turnips to hear, and walked away.

 It was surprising to see how messy the kitchen could get from laying out all of my vegetarian options on the counters. For dinner, I decided the main course would be a big portobello mushroom, for each of us. Alex’s was slightly larger, always a subtle reminder that he is the head of the household. Not coming from a “cooking” family, I had no idea how to combine foods and spices. Each time I looked at the array of veggies, it was hit or miss.

I ended up cutting the rutabaga into French fry like strips and tossing them raw, into a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, Lawry’s, and garlic salt. When they were still a bit firm, I let them wait in the covered pan while I finished the rest of the meal. They tasted much better than the turnips I’m happy to say, and were better than greasy old fast-food French fries.

I sauteed the portobellas whole in a pan and added about 2T. of an A-1 type sauce watered down a bit to flavor them up, and continued cooking. It offered a negotiable suggestion that we were eating a steak.

For another dish, I added cut up fresh tomatoes and basil, salt, a bit of olive oil, malt vinegar, and a little garlic salt, and mixed it all together. It was fresh, cool, and tasty.

I was on a roll, so I sliced a couple of poblano peppers and an onion into rings, then sliced some shallots, and tossed them with some toasted sesame oil I found in the pantry, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I sautéed the mixture and it was a tasty and satisfying dinner. Another great day on the cleanse.

DAY 5                        Susan:  148              Alex:  232.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  6 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  7.5 lbs

Thursday

 I made it to the blender first this morning, hoping to build us a smoothie with a few more veggies in it than yesterday’s. Of course the fruit is what makes it taste so good and sweet, so I used ½ a pear, ½ c. fresh pineapple, ½ c. frozen mixed berries, ½ a banana, about 2 c. spinach, 1 large celery stalk, 1 scoop protein powder, water, and some ice on the top. Wonderful. Every morning it is so much fun to see what the combinations will bring.

I was a little disappointed to see the same weight as yesterday this morning when the scale teased me first with a potential ½ pound loss, but I figured tomorrow would be better. The important thing is to think positive and enjoy the new energy, and I was.

It was pretty easy to rely on stretching out the shake for most of the day, AS LONG AS I REMEMBERED to drink water on a super regular basis. Hint, hint.  But I made myself a small salad with a combo of fresh veggies I found in the fridge, just to maintain some normalcy. I used some organic olive oil that I sprayed from a can to get a light, even coverage, mixing the lettuce and veggies as I sprayed. With a fine dusting of salt and pepper mixed in, I was shocked to realize that I enjoyed the salad without any other dressing or vinegars. I was starting to have somewhat of an out-of-body experience, wondering if I was still me.

Something else I noticed was the power of being able to make that salad last for a few hours, alternating paperwork, laundry, and computer work with a bite here and there. There was absolutely no need to pack it in to full capacity all at one time, just because it had been a bad habit I’d perfected throughout the years.  I was starting to realize that life was about more than just constant eating.

Sorry, but I totally forgot to record what we ate this night.  So with that said, why don’t you come up with a great meal idea that you will be smiling about in the morning?

 ***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!

DAY 6                        Susan:  147              Alex:  231.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  7 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  8.5 lbs

Friday

I whipped up a trusty fruit and veggie smoothie with 2 c. spinach, ½ pear, ½ c. pineapple, ½ apple, 1 stalk of celery, 1 scoop of protein powder, water, and ice. It was excellent. Today I would be spending the day helping my 86-year-old Mum, and I thought I should grab more than just my morning shake to sustain me ‘til about 4pm, but I didn’t.

I took Mum for a hair appointment, a blood-draw, a hearing-aid check, a bite to eat, and dropped her off at the Senior Center for an afternoon of Wii bowling. Her nice lady friend would be giving her a ride home from Wii, so I would take this opportunity to run to the grocery store, stock her fridge and cupboards, clean her place up, throw in some laundry, check on her pills, and help her with a shower when she returned.

After the haircut, we were pressed for time to get to the hospital’s blood lab and hearing aid department before Wii. Mum loves fried fish sandwiches, and she needed to eat. Burger King was in sight.

“Mum, do you want to drive through and get a fish sandwich?”

“Yes! That would be lovely.” she said, her English accent still present after 65 years in the U.S. “You’ll have one too, right?”

“No, I’m on a special eating plan right now and it’s not allowed.” She looked sad for me. “It’s fine, Mum. I’m getting plenty to eat and I’m happy.” I could see this was of no comfort to her.

“Hello, welcome to Burger King, would you like to try the blah…blah…blah this afternoon?”

“No thank you, we just want a fish sandwich and a drink that tastes like lemonade.”

“We don’t have lemonade.”

“I know. That’s why I asked for a drink that tastes like lemonade. Do you have anything like that, that’s not pop?

“We have the blah…blah…blah”

“That’ll be fine. The value size.”

“Anything else?”

“Do you have just a plain salad?”

“Yes, we have a side salad for $1.00.”

“Okay, I’ll take that, no dressing.”

“No dressing?”

“Correct, no dressing, or croutons. Thanks.”

“That’ll be blah…blah at the first window.”

“Mum, I’m going to head over to the hospital while you’re eating in the car, so you can get your blood drawn and hearing aids checked and make it to Wii on time.” She seemed not to hear me, rummaging through the bag as if something were missing. “Mum? Is that okay? If I drive while you eat?”

“Susie, there’s only one sandwich in here.”

“I know. Remember? I’m eating different foods and I can’t have one. I’ve got the salad.” I could see in her face again the disappointment for my loss as I put the car in drive and headed toward the hospital.

I glanced over from time to time, catching a glimpse of her dentures excavating through the hot, crispy breading of the fillet, sending off an aroma that transported me in time to the backseat of our ’57 Chevy. For a treat, Dad would drive Mum and me two blocks away to the Big Boy drive-in restaurant on 8 Mile and Dequindre in Detroit. While I bounced up and down with anticipation in the backseat, Mum yelled across Dad, into the speaker, “extra salt”, as he was ordering a fish sandwich for each of us. With her strong English accent, they always thought she was asking for extra soap.

“You like that, Mum?”

“Mm-hmm!”

I dropped Mum off at the front door of the hospital, parked the car, locked it, then stopped. I unlocked the car and grabbed the Burger King bag containing the small bowl of lettuce, two mini tomato slices, and shredded cheese I’d have to scrape off somehow since it’s not allowed on the cleanse.

Mum was standing at the vacant desk to check in while everyone else had read the sign to swipe your card for check-in if no one was present. We sat down and watched all the people go in that had arrived after Mum, and I decided to try a Burger King “side” salad for the first time ever. With no dressing.

“That looks a little dry.” Mum said.

I plunged the black plastic fork into a chunk of the pale iceberg lettuce, shaking off the tasty looking strips of shredded cheddar. I continued on, appreciating the fact that I was chewing something. I was forced for the first time to see what lettuce actually tasted like. It wasn’t so bad. It was even kind of sweet. Perhaps it would be my new candy. Occasionally, a piece of the cheese would refuse to remove itself before the fork entered my mouth, gracing me with a guilty pleasure. Still, I manuevered my way through the shredded cheese, trying to dignify the two mushy tomato wedges, apparently the highlight of the salad.

I was done. Satisfied. A martyr.

After I dropped Mum off at the Senior Center, I headed over to the King Soopers grocery store to buy some of her favorite foods, and a few irresistible vegetables for me. In just six days, I’d grown accustomed to hanging out in the produce section. The colorful array of fruits and veggies made me wish Mum would eat the stuff, but I knew she wouldn’t. She hadn’t eaten them her whole life. Still, I couldn’t refuse the urge to grab a few miscellaneous fruits and vegetables for her, inevitably to die a slow death in a dark refrigerator casket.

I wanted a meal that would entice Alex to leave the office at a decent time for a change. Weekend meals were supposed to be fun, and junkier than weekdays. What could I make for dinner that would scream, “It’s Friday! We’re splurging tonight!”

It was a nice thought, but breaking out of the produce department would set off the alarms and sirens. Nevertheless, I was willing to risk it. I ventured toward the frozen section for something called Quorn. It has nothing to do with corn. Two of my vegetarian kids use it instead of meat. It’s a micro-fiber fungi, non-soy-based combo that comes in patties, nuggets, or like ground beef and tastes like chicken. At least that’s the theory. It would be 5 more days before we could have the real stuff, so tonight I was stoked for it to be our main course.

Suddenly, a loud digitized-sounding warning came over the store’s intercom.  “Attention all shoppers, Susan Szollosi is leaving the produce department. I repeat, Susan Szollosi is leaving the produce department.” Screechy wheels on shopping carts became silent as their pushers stared with disbelief in my direction. “Susan Szollosi may be heading for the candy or potato chip aisle. Apprehend with extreme care, she may be armed and dangerous.”

The solitary clicking of my cart’s wheels became amplified like an intense drum roll as I picked up the pace for my escape. Mouths were open and aghast. “Back off!” I said, to a woman whose cart was filled solely with fruit and vegetables, “It’s not what you think.”

The loudspeaker came on again. “Attention shoppers, Susan Szollosi has made it successfully to the frozen vegetables aisle. She was only looking for the micro-fiber fungi products. Please excuse this false alarm.” People started applauding, and nodding their heads at each other. That’s when the wheels of everyone’s carts started to thump and screech again.

Yep, that’s what it felt like.

Then I ventured into Disneyland, for Mum’s sake. I put Mum’s groceries in the front of the cart so I would blend in with the shoppers in the aisles I was about to enter. I tucked mine into the back. I reached for things I knew she would eat. I felt guilty with every processed snack I put in the basket; the things I’d been raised on. But at least she wouldn’t starve. She would get pleasure with each bite as she watched the cooking channel, not for the food, but for the unusual looking guy with the bleached spiked hair who hosted the show, and while she read her books, or thumbed through the joke book I brought her, laughing with each page. Yes, she would be enjoying herself at 86.

The last time Alex and I were at Mum’s house, he unplugged the stove. The number of burned pans on the counter had been growing. “I don’t want to live anyplace but here” she would tell us over and over again, increasing our vigil to make sure she was taking her pills on the right days and eating regularly.

Mum’s few obligatory fruits at the front of the cart were soon joined by an abundance of exciting things. White English muffins, orange marmalade, granola bars, Reese’s peanut butter cups, some healthy looking chips, microwavable dinners, mini-pizzas, milk, o.j., a bag of Oreo’s, and her favorite…O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer. All the things I used to get before this cleanse, except for the O’Doul’s.  Mine would be the real stuff.  Paying for the two opposite-looking orders at the checkout counter made me wonder if the cashier thought Sybil had arrived.

After I’d replaced all the healthy rotten produce and re-stocked Mum’s fridge, I cleaned her place up then headed home, realizing she was staying out longer with her friend. Alex would be home in a few hours hoping for a special Friday night meal.

“When do we eat? I’ve only had four peanuts all day” Alex said, hustling through the mudroom door, looking desperate.

“What!?  Four peanuts?  You’re not supposed to have peanuts.” I felt terrible when I heard the words come out of my mouth. “I’ll make you a nice dinner. We’re having Quorn.” His eyebrows lifted with excitement. Uh-oh.

“We can have corn?”

“Not that kind of corn, it’s…different.”

The meal was great. There were ten Quorn nuggets in the box. I had 3 ½ and Alex had 6 ½. They came seasoned, and coated in stuff I’m sure wasn’t on the cleanse, but it was Friday. Yesterday I had steamed up some red beets and refrigerated them, so I mixed them with malt vinegar, salt and pepper, sweet white onions, and some red onion. Very tasty. I also put out the leftover lentils that were mixed with some leftover rice, cilantro, tomatoes, green onion, and fresh minced jalapeno. Good again.

I felt we needed one more thing, maybe something sweet, so I sliced up an apple and sautéed it with some flat snow peas and sprinkled it with a Mexican salty seasoning used for fruits. It was a nice addition to the meal. That was it.

A couple of hours later, I went to bed and noticed that I couldn’t sleep. In fact, I couldn’t sleep all night long. It felt like my throat was raspy and that I had to keep swallowing what felt like a little phlegm.  I wondered if I could be coming down with a cold, which seemed impossible since I’d never felt so good in all my life these last five days, nutrition-wise.  I had somehow managed to miss my annual “fall” head and chest cold that sometimes lasted for up to two months. It might have been because I finally took my friend Bernie’s advice last September and used the Kick-Ass Immunedrops as soon as I felt something coming on. The trick is to catch it before it sets in, and to not stop with the Kick Ass until you’re sure the symptoms are completely gone. It’s sold at Whole Foods, and some King Soopers stores, and probably most health food stores.  Another good one is the Cold Snap powder.

 DAY 7                        Susan:  146.5           Alex:  230.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  7.5 lbs        Alex Lost to Date:  9.5 lbs

Saturday

I must have finally dozed off, because the alarm woke me out of a dead sleep. I was hoping that the throat thing was just a dream and that I had slept through the entire night. Not so. I could still feel something in my throat, just enough to be annoying and cause a raspy feeling.

We were headed to Dr. Fan’s for a 9:30am appointment. He is the acupuncturist I found online in a moment of desperation, who was open on a Saturday, two weeks ago when I just couldn’t stand the sciatic pain anymore. My entire left leg was encapsulated with a fire-like affliction. I felt like I might vomit or faint. The day after it started, Alex talked me into stopping by the emergency room, where they promptly gave me Vicodin to take the edge off, and suggested we look into acupuncture. So here I was, about to have a stranger stick me with a bunch of needles.  And, I was on a cleanse.

The whole acupuncture thing was new to us, but with Alex having suffered round-the-clock pain in his left hip for over a year now, these Saturday morning appointments would be our new quality bonding time.  That and the cleanse, of course.

I decided to mention my throat thing to Dr. Fan right up front, and make sure we were clear on my expectations of the medicine for my throat problem. He made great eye contact and bobbed his head up and down. “No worry, no worry. I give you Chinese medicine  for your throat.” I smiled with relief.

Dr. Fan almost ran around my body, poking his long, thin needles all over my leg as if he knew exactly what he was doing. After the first few went in, I got cocky and laid there like I’d been coming to him for years. Cocky, like that time I took my motorcycle out for the first time, in my snazzy custom-designed leathers, then fell off it twenty minutes later on a hairpin curve. Then I remembered my daughter telling me that when my oldest son went to someone for his very first acupuncture visit, the girl who poked the needles in him seemed very nervous. I was relieved Dr. Fan didn’t seem nervous.

“Take off your scarf.”

“What?” Dr. Fan was standing over me with a handful of needles. He pointed to my neck.

“You want me to take off my bandana?” He nodded quickly.

“I fix your neck.”

“What about the Chinese pills?” Maybe it had slipped his mind.

“I give you pills too.”

Before we headed to Dr. Fan’s this morning, we built ourselves a shake for the road. We added miscellaneous fruits and veggies, (always with the protein powder, and always with spinach or kale or something green), and it lasted throughout the morning just fine.

We decided to have lunch in Denver at the Watercourse, a vegetarian restaurant the kids had dragged us to in the past. Alex would never have gone to one of “those” kind of restaurants. But there he was, pacing around with his hands clasped behind his back, checking out the food plates that whizzed by him for the next 30 minutes while we waited to be seated.

We ordered one entrée called The Macro Plate. It was grilled tempeh in orange ginger sauce over brown rice, served with steamed chard, arame (a type of seaweed, and homemade pickled cabbage. It was all delicious. Tempeh, is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form, similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. My Detroit friends would be disown me if they could hear me now.

We also ordered a side of Seitan Buffalo Wings. It was quite a large portion. It was crisp seitan tossed in a choice of buffalo, teriyaki or BBQ sauce. We chose the buffalo. Of course, they came served with a ranch dip and celery sticks.

Seitan is a product made from wheat gluten that was developed in Japan in about 1962 by the macrobiotic teacher George Ohsawa together with Mr. Kiyoshi Mokutani, the head of Marushima Shoyu company. It is the main protein of wheat and is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten. It’s an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu. Now you know all about two things that I’m sure were not allowed on the cleanse. But it would be a lifestyle change, possibly headed in this direction, and I didn’t really know what I was ordering so, I’m forgiven.

Our waitress seemed to be excited to watch us try these new things, because she brought us a side of creamy soy-based dipping sauce to play around with too. It was good, and fun to eat and for the most part healthy but I suspected it might push us backwards, if not off the edge of the cleanse. The fact is, I didn’t care. I wanted to learn portion control so that I could experience fun foods. The old me would have had a rich amber ale with the meal and Alex would have had several refills of a sweet drink. We both had water instead.

When the check came, we were surprised to see that it was half of what we were used to paying at restaurants. Without a second entrée and the drinks, it really cut the cost. We even asked for a doggy bag for a good amount of the buffalo tempeh wings and some rice. We would finish them with tonight’s meal.

We headed to the IMAX theater for a 3pm show. Normally I would have sneaked in at least a granola bar or something to quietly satisfy my superficial hunger. It seemed like I was always eating. Even if I was full, I was craving something. This time, I had ½ bottle of water that somehow seemed comforting and respectful to myself, and to the rules of the IMAX. Hours later, I still wasn’t hungry.

***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!

Dinner consisted of the leftover tempeh wings from lunch, and all the leftovers in the fridge, including the rice mixture, the beets, and a spaghetti squash mixture. It was enough for me, but Alex was still looking for something sweet to finish off the meal so he made himself a fruit smoothie.

I wanted to make sure I got a good night sleep and was concerned that my throat issue might go to my chest, so I took some Nyquil and definitely slept through the night.

 

 DAY 8                        Susan:  147              Alex:  231

                        Susan Lost to Date:  7 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  9 lbs

 Sunday

Each of us gaining ½ pound didn’t really surprise me this morning. No biggie. It was a fun day and today we get back on more of the cleanse track.

I walked into the kitchen and Alex was fixing himself a salad for breakfast. I wondered just how long I had slept. The clock said 10:00am.

“Did you already have a shake?” I asked.

“Nope.”

“I’ll make us one.”

“Yeah, go ahead, I’m going to start with this salad first.” It struck me odd, but I actually thought it was pretty cool.

I was still a little groggy from the Nyquil and feeling the hint of something in my chest. I had this vision of some steaming hot soup from our blender instead of the usual cold fruit/veggie morning smoothie. Alex and I had bought some leeks last night, thinking we would make some leek soup. Problem is, neither of us had the faintest idea how. I cut up four big fat leeks, added celery, spices, a bit of jalapeno, and about ¾ c. of leftover rice in the blender. It churned into a beautiful bright green mixture. The onion smell was overwhelming. I took one sip and something strange went through my body. The flavor was so powerful that I almost threw up. I looked over at Alex. His face almost matched the color of the soup. It was the weirdest thing. We felt like we had been poisoned. We poured it down the sink immediately and I’m wondering if I will ever be able to have another leek in my life.

I washed out the blender really well, and proceeded to fill it with ½ banana, 2 oranges peeled (with the white still on), 1 c. spinach, some mint leaves, celery with leaves, ½ pear, ice, water, and a scoop of protein powder. It was delicious.

*** REMEMBER, you need to choose the combos of fruit and veggies that appeal to YOU. Most of our meals are based on having a fully stocked fridge and just pulling things out on a whim. OH…and don’t forget to keep that water with you!

I was working at the computer all day, not thinking of food. Occasionally, I took small sips of the smoothie just like I would have with a cold cup o’ joe by my side throughout the day, sipping empty calories and believing in its magical abilities. The shakes were replacing the coffee habit just fine.

Before I knew it, it was time to prepare dinner. I’m not sure I would have even bothered except that dinners were the highlight of Alex’s day.

We finally sat down around 7pm for a great meal. I sautéed up some peeled, sliced eggplant, and set it aside keeping it warm while I made a marinara for the topping. I used a small can of tomato sauce (6-8 oz.?), 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and some hot water for the base. This is the first canned stuff I’ve used. I put it in a saucepan and added garlic salt, some chopped green pepper, onion, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of chopped cilantro. When serving, I spooned the topping onto the cooked eggplant. It was the BEST taste I ever had! I couldn’t believe it! I’m glad I didn’t use more than one eggplant between the two of us because we definitely would have just kept eating it even if we weren’t hungry.

I also took some of the lentils I’d cooked earlier in the day, and added some minced carrots, poblano pepper, onion, ancho chile powder, red curry powder, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Delish!

I could tell I was gaining a respect for food because I wasn’t throwing leftovers and rotting vegetables in the trash anymore. I put some of last night’s delights from the fridge in a few cup-sized “delicacy” bowls to add more variety and special-ness to the meal. It kind of had the feel like when you go to an Indian restaurant and they bring out those ridiculously tiny bowls of chutneys and you’re sure it won’t be near enough for you. Then you find out they expect you to share them, but somehow it turns out fine.

People tend to savor and respect food that comes out in smaller portions.  It forces the mind to a different place.

We are really enjoying this kind of cooking. It’s been over three hours since dinner and I’m still not hungry. It’s 11:37pm, past my bedtime but I am wide awake. The heavy foods and nighttime beers aren’t around anymore to leave me with that crashed feeling. I’m going to have a quick sit in the massage chair, put a dropper of Kick Ass Immune under my tongue, and hit the sack. It will be interesting to see if I can sleep as well without the Nyquil tonight. I’m feeling much better today. Could it be those neck needles? Nah.

 

 DAY 9                        Susan:  146              Alex:  232

                        Susan Lost to Date:  8 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  8 lbs

 Monday

After gaining ½ pound yesterday, it was a relief to see a 1-pound loss this morning. I tried not to smirk as I stepped off the scale. That type of behavior always comes back to bite you. Eight pounds in eight days. I was ecstatic. My first reaction was to share it with Alex. My second, was not to. One thing I’ve learned in 25 years of marriage is, it just doesn’t serve any purpose to revel in a personal gain, when your partner is dealing with a bit of a setback.

Aside from losing some weight, the energy I feel is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I got so used to thinking that being tired and sluggish was normal. Guess I always thought it was just the protocol for having four kids. I realize now, that my poor eating habits were making me depressed. I had the urge to be productive but not the energy. Even my mental clarity feels sharper and my attitude towards mundane tasks has lightened. I’m experiencing a feeling of hope.

***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!

This morning, it was 1 c. pineapple, ½ banana, 1 ½ stalks of celery, 3 carrots, 2c. spinach, mint leaves, parsley, 1 ½ scoops of protein powder, water, and ice. Another great shake.

I went to Mum’s today to help her out with a few things. I was pretty sure a couple of hours would do it. My plan was to get back and get some work done here. Thanks to taking frequent sips of my trusty morning nutrient-loaded shake, drinking water throughout the day, and staying focused on my goals, I was able to sustain what turned out to be 6 hours at Mum’s.

I headed home to make a fabulous dinner for Alex and me. He will be getting two of the hamburger-sized Quorn patties tonight, after a long day at work. I will have one. Oddly enough, he will be happy and this will suffice for the main entrée. The topping for the Quorn patties will be last night’s leftover tomato sauce mixture. It was definitely tasty enough to go another round.

We’ll also have onion slices, mixed with red, yellow, and orange bell pepper rings, poblano rings, and mushrooms, sautéed in about ½ c. of Marsalla cooking wine. Like I said, these recipes come about from whatever happens to be screaming “Try me, try me!” from the pantry or fridge.

And lastly, a mixture of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, tossed in any combo of spices I fancy at the time, to complement the other foods.

It turned out to be another successful dinner.

***Remember, your spice and food choices are all about what you like, not about what I like.

 

 DAY 10          Susan:  145              Alex:  229.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  9 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  10.5 lbs

Tuesday

I didn’t have to go into the office today, so I didn’t set my alarm. I woke up at an unusual 10am, marveling at what the proper food and an alcohol-free evening can do for a good night’s sleep. A late night beer or wine can put you to sleep, but research has shown that it tends to wake you up a few hours later.

Alex’s weight loss kicked back in, dropping 2.5 pounds overnight, so I was happy for him.  He was gone when I got up, and must have left without our morning shake. I wondered what he might get into today because of it. Then I remembered that we had those Svelte protein shakes on hand for a quick snatch when running out the door on busy days. He’d probably grabbed one of those. He’ll be fine, I thought. I’d sampled them at a King Soopers one day and approved of the ingredients. They’re pretty filling, have 16 grams of protein, 260 calories for the full 15.9 oz. container, 10g of fat, 40 carbs, 8g of fiber, and 9g of sugar – sweetened naturally with Stevia, plus some vitamins. It is soy-based though, in case you’re not a soy fan. We keep them on hand for emergencies. 

I was feeling really proud of Alex for stepping up to the plate (no pun intended) on this cleanse. It wasn’t long ago that we’d gone to a GoLite clothing warehouse sale to buy some jackets at a great price. We were both really stoked, talking about how they would pack well for travel, and how useful they’d be. Then came the disappointed look in his eyes when the employee said, “I’m sorry, sir, it’s not that we’re out of them, it’s that we don’t make them in your size.” I ended up buying mine, but with a sadness in my heart.

It was about 12:30pm before I got around to making the shake. I tried to keep in mind that it was for just one person today. I didn’t want to end up with a full blender and waste it. Still, these things tend to grow on you. I added a leaf of kale, about 3 – 1” chunks of frozen banana, ½ c. frozen pineapple, ½ c. mixed frozen berries, a small handful of spinach, some celery chunks, ¾ scoop of protein powder, vitamin C powder, water, and added ice as it was blending, watching for a thicker, icemilk-like consistency. It made about 16 oz. or a bit more. It was delicious! Like one of those frozen drinks you get at smoothie places and pay about five or six bucks for.

I must have felt guilty about Alex missing out on this morning’s shake, because around 4pm, I still wasn’t hungry but started prepping for a dinner like it was Thanksgiving. Our main course was a huge artichoke each, complemented by a butter and lemon juice sauce with some lemon pepper mixed in. I even threw in a tablespoon of capers to each of our little dipping bowls.

I then worked on the topping for a butternut squash. I finely-chopped the following ingredients into a salsa: 3 green onions, 1 stalk of celery, a pear, a slice of green pepper, 1 T. lemon juice, some Trechas chile powder for fruits and veggies (I found it at Walmart a couple of years ago – I know.) I mixed it all up and left it cold/room temp and scooped it into the cooked, halved butternut squash holes. You can either serve it like this, or stick it in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes. When I’m in a hurry, I just microwave the squashes. Remember, everything you do with your foods and seasonings is a personal choice.

Then, I sautéed up some asparagus in a tiny amount of olive oil, squeezed fresh ginger over them, and sprinkled with salt. Really tasty. I served them a bit on the crunchy side and ate them with my fingers. I read in an etiquette book somewhere that it’s perfectly okay to do this. And when I do this in public, I always make sure to announce this to whoever gives me a double take while they are using a knife and fork. I then proceed to tell them that I also read that it’s perfectly fine to start eating after the first two people at their table have been served. This usually raises a few eyebrows, but frees up my conscience and makes me look like an avid reader. I think.

By 6:22pm, I was almost done, except for the red and green cabbage I then shredded up and sautéed in a little sesame oil. I added Alex’s favorite spice in the world – caraway seeds (I had to hide the bottle for a while). I also stirred in some of that Turkish salad-type seasoning that I picked up off a street vendor in Istanbul last fall.  I had to trust that I wouldn’t be stopped at customs, the way it looked.  Oh, and salt and pepper, and I tore some leaves off the rosemary plant that was starting to rot on my kitchen counter.

It was getting close to 7pm and I still wasn’t hungry, and Alex still wasn’t home from work. All I could think of was, What am I going to do with all this food?

 

 DAY 11          Susan:  145              Alex:  228.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  9 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  11.5 lbs

 1-25-12 –  Wednesday

“Do you remember what today is?” I asked Alex. I could see from the look on his face that the dates of our anniversary, my birthday, and even garbage pick-up day were going through his mind.

“No. What?”

“It’s the eleventh day of our cleanse.”

“That means we can have meat today” he said in a fairly dry voice. Had this guy forgotten that he was Mr. Extreme Carnivore just ten days ago?

“Yep. We just can’t have red meat for another five days. But we can have fish or real chicken.” I watched for a reaction. Then checked for a pulse. I didn’t really get excited either. In fact, the conversation seemed to be over.

I made us our morning shake, glancing over whatever lay willing in the fridge and throwing it in (this is how I cook too), making sure to add in some spinach, or kale, or a couple of healthy green things and a stick of celery. Then I chose a few frozen fruits we keep on the top shelf of the freezer, threw those in, then added 2T. of ground flax seeds, 1T. of chia seeds, water, and ice. It didn’t really matter. It all tasted good and had lots of vitamins.

***Remember to pace yourself with the minimum 64oz. required to drink each day!  (I know what you’re thinking about these reminders, but this is crucial for success)  Is your water with you now???

For lunch, I grabbed some of last night’s delicious leftovers to snack on during the day. I ate the cabbage mixture cold, and even managed to have fun at my computer, scraping my bottom front teeth against the leaves from the cold artichoke that I was too full for last night. I felt like I was in another country, snacking on gourmet appetizers oddly enough. I guess you could call me a cheap date.

Alex had a client lunch appointment again. Days like this were a big part of how we had both put on the extra pounds in recent months. Nice restaurant options like pastas buried in rich sauces, jambalayas, creoles, and gourmet pizzas, rarely allowed for a “salad” to land in front of us. I found myself wishing him good luck as he exited the house, as if not ordering a burger and fries were as stressful as staying up all night bidding on a job.

 *   *   *

“How’d you do?” I asked, when he walked in the door from work.

“I did great. I had a salad with veggies in it, no cheese, no croutons, no eggs, no bread…” I was getting depressed. The poor guy. “I had a little olive oil and some balsamic on it.”  His face lit up, “So what are we having for dinner?”

“You’ll see.”

He headed upstairs to his office to unload his briefcase, check more emails, and make a few calls. About twenty minutes later, I yelled up, “It’s readddy.”

Alex came down in his high-water sweat pants, Croc’s, and still wearing his MAX Construction, Inc. shirt. I watched his little head circling around the table as if he were looking for his name tag at a business event.

“What are you looking for?” I asked. There was silence.

“Where’s the meat?”

“Ya know…I thought about having some tonight since it’s our 11th day and we’re allowed, but I just wasn’t feeling it.”

He nodded his head and said, “Good choice. I really wasn’t either.”

So, with that said, for dinner, we had a vegetarian chili/ratatouille made with green and yellow zucchini, eggplant, green bell pepper, mushrooms, and Quorn crumbles (tasted just like ground beef), simmered in a sauce of tomato paste, garlic salt, and oregano. Really good.

I made some rutabaga fries, tossed in olive oil, Lawry’s, garlic salt, and fresh sage leaves, roasted in the oven. Yum!

I used our handy mandarin slicer to sliver up some cucumber slices paper thin (left the peel on), and mixed them with malt (or cider) vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, a little Chipotle pepper olive oil, and salt and pepper. What a cool, refreshing complement.  Actually, now that I think of it, I bet some fresh mint leaves would’ve been nice in there too.

And, I even made us a salad that turned out to be too much for me, so I saved it for tomorrow.

Who would have thought?

 DAY 12          Susan:  145              Alex:   228

                        Susan Lost to Date:  9 lbs            Alexs Lost to Date:  12 lbs

Thursday

For years, I’d been trying to lose 7 pounds. Just 7 pounds. Couldn’t do it. Now, after 11 days, I’d lost 9. Go figure. And Alex, 12. Seriously? Is this all it takes? I mean, we’re not even exercising. But I’m not complaining. I’m just… amazed, I guess.

Last night, I’d made contact online with a close friend of mine. We’re that couple who’s stayed connected for over 25 years, having met when our grown kids were babies. We go in and out of it, living only two miles apart, but always re-connect where we left off. I’m sure you know about solid friendships like this.  “Joan”, A.K.A. “J.B.” to me, had emailed me yesterday out of the blue about some free class she’d signed up for at Whole Foods. “Call and see if you can get in”, she said. “We’re just starting our 2nd week and it’s a 4 week course. It’s all about eating healthy foods.” Was her timing exemplary, or what?

“J.B.”, I wrote back, “I have so much to share with you. I’ve signed up, and will see you at the next class.”

I called Alex at work. “Alex, I’m going to a free cooking class on “greens” tonight, then I’ll cook something when I get home, okay?”

“Sure.”

It’s amazing how accepting he has become of this whole overhaul.

But to back up here a minute, you know the routine by now. This morning, I made the miracle protein shake that has become my new best friend, and by now, you have probably already blended up a concoction far better than mine.

And Lunch, was either some of last night’s leftovers, or a salad.  Can’t remember.  Didn’t write it down soon enough.

***I am SO proud of you for hanging in there with us! I hope you are keeping track of your weight-loss, drinking 64 oz. of water a day, and enjoying the journey. Let’s keep going!

I was afraid we’d both get kicked out of class. “OMG, J.B., I can’t WAIT to tell you about this AMAZING cleanse Alex and I have been doing for the last 12 days.”

“Girls, I hate to interrupt, but….

“Oh sorry.” I apologized, to ‘Cheryl’, the teacher. “We haven’t seen each other in a long time and are really excited to share our new eating plan.” After I said it, I realized that half the class was probably rolling their eyes. But it was true.

Cheryl smiled, and continued talking about cooking with “greens” and their nutrients and all the stuff 12 days ago I would have blocked out, wishing I were someplace else had I not experienced their miraculous powers. I drank in every nutritious word that left her mouth, desirous of being inundated with my new purpose in life. Snap out of it, I told myself. You’re from Detroit, this could get back to the homies.

J.B. and I were the last ones to leave the class. Cheryl must have wanted to get rid of us at some point, so she gave us some of the “greens” products to take home that would have gone to waste. I called Alex as soon as I got in the car. “Alex, I’m on my way home and I have some lettuce.”

“Great.”

“It was free.”

“Great.”

“So are you on your way home?” I asked.  It was about 8:20pm.

“I’ll be leaving the office after a couple more emails.”

“Okay, I’ll see you at home, and I’ll make you a nice salad. With the lettuce.”

“Great.”

When Alex got home around 9:30pm, he immediately poked his head around in the fridge, looking for a quick hunger fix before he changed his clothes. He popped a few cold rutabaga fries in his mouth. “These are good.” He said.

“They are. You can have those and I’ve got a salad for you too.”

“Thanks. I’m just going to change my clothes and then we can watch a show if you want.”

Cheryl had sautéed up some mixed greens in a veggie broth, with garlic, onions, salt, and chopped pecans that we all got to sample at the cooking class. Two of the ladies in our class brought in some delicious healthy “cookies” they’d made from a recipe packet Cheryl had handed out previously. They had seeds, dates, coconut, nuts, good oils – all healthy stuff in them so I figured, why not? I ate a few at the class, and brought a couple home for Alex too.

I didn’t feel hungry so I didn’t eat anything.  Except that I had a few walnuts before bedtime. They are great to take the edge off any possible hunger pangs that may arise once I get into bed.

 

 DAY 13          Susan:  144.5           Alex:  227

                        Susan Lost to Date:  9.5 lbs        Alex Lost to Date:  13 lbs

 Friday

It’s Friday the 13th. Just sayin’.

This morning’s shake consisted of kale, 3 carrots, leftover asparagus stems (fresh), 2/3 c. pineapple, ½ pear, ½ of a frozen banana, ½ of an orange with the white on, 1 celery stick, 1-1/2 scoops of protein powder.  You can make these shakes any way you want, just be vigilant to use your veggies in here too.  The combos are for you to decide.

Around 2pm, I made myself a little drink with some magnesium powder. It’s berry flavored and I got it at a health food store. It ‘s called Magnesium Serene and you mix it with water or whatever you want. It’s sweetened with Stevia and tastes really good. Sometimes I mix it with Perrier water and ice and drink it out of a wine glass. Kinda fun. I discovered if you add some lemon juice to it, it’s a wonderful lemonade type drink. You can mix it with a little warm water first so it doesn’t clunk up. The next day usually brings forth a nice cleansing. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and is great to drink before bedtime. It also substitutes well for a glass of wine, if you can believe that.  Is this the part where I lose everybody?

After dinner, Alex and I decided it would be fun to have something cold and frozen, so since I had some of this morning’s shake still in the blender in the fridge, I added in some ice and frozen fruit to it and set the blender on the ice cream mode, giving it a thicker texture. It was sweet and healthy and subbed great for a rich calorie ice cream.

Before bed, I had intended to have 4 walnuts, but that would have left one last nut in the bag all by itself.

Day 14           Susan:  144              Alex:  227.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  9.5 lbs        Alex Lost to Date:  12.5 lbs

 Saturday

I didn’t feel the need to see Dr. Fan today.  Heaven knows where he’d want to stick some needles this time. And whatever the reason, I was definitely feeling much better. Alex saw Dr. Fan at 9:30am and the usual morning shake did a nice job of getting us both through the morning.  It was a combo of kale, celery, frozen banana, ½ an apple, water, ice, a mixture of frozen fruit, and a scoop and half of protein powder.

We had set up a lunch appointment to meet a potential new employee at the Cherry Creek Grill restaurant. What a day this will be, I thought. Eating out at an upscale restaurant and then a big Indian cuisine meal that J.B. was cooking for us tonight was not exactly what I would call cleanse material. When the waitress asked what I’d like, I cringed and brought up the vegan word, waiting for her to roll her eyes, but she didn’t. She almost sounded excited to present some of the vegetarian and vegan options to me. They all sounded so good, we ended up ordering more than we needed, but that’s what doggie bags are for.

Alex ordered the Seasonal Vegetable Plate filled with a beautiful array of colorful veggies, tossed and sautéed in a special sauce for his main entrée. He also ordered the veggie of the day which was a healthy plate of cauliflower, tossed in a tasty sauce combo before hitting the broiler. His meal looked stunning. I ordered the other special side of the day which was a beautiful presentation of spaghetti squash topped with a tomato chutney that I was way too full to eat. I had the Sashimi tuna Salad pan-seared ahi tuna with mixed greens, mango, and avocado. I hoped I wasn’t moaning too loud in front of our guest, but it was completely orgasmic, so to speak.

After our lunch meeting, we decided to see an IMAX movie since we were already in Denver.  Again, there just weren’t the cravings for food during the show. Such a strange experience.  It was fun being on the same page with Alex regarding our new eating plan. It seemed like one more cool thing we had in common.  We enjoyed the challenge and joy of discovering food items that we never would have previously considered.

Around 5pm, after the movie, we stopped into a Vitamin Cottage to grab some munchies to hold us over until we got to J.B.’s for her dinner. Alex had a Green Machine Naked Juice – 240 cals in the whole bottle, 33 carbs, 0g fiber, 28g, 2g protein. Has apple juice, mango puree, pineapple juice, banana puree, kiwi puree, spirulina, natural flavors, chlorella, broccoli, spinach, barley grains, wheat grass, parsley, ginger root, blue green algae, odorless garlic.  I was shocked to see 0g fiber.  I chose a green nutrition bar that literally looked like someone had sat on a box of salad for an entire afternoon, transforming it into a nutrition bar.  Our taste buds were making some serious boot camp changes.

J.B. had called earlier, asking, “Now what exactly can you have on this cleanse that you’re on?” I hated having to tell her that we could have this but not that, and that but not this. I was sounding like one of those people.

“That’s perfectly fine, Sue. We don’t mind at all. I just want to make sure we’re following your guidelines.”

J.B. probably had no idea what it meant to me that she worked on this dinner all day long, preparing something she had no idea as to whether it would even turn out. And it had. She started us out with homemade kale chips that were amazing. She tore up the leaves into bite-sized pieces and placed in a big mixing bowl. Then rubbed some olive oil in the palms of her hands and massaged the leaves, mixing in some garlic salt, lemon juice, and pepper. Then she laid the pieces out on a cookie sheet.  You can put parchment paper on it but it’s not necessary if your cookie sheet has a non-stick coating on it like mine does. She then baked in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the edges of the kale start to turn brown and becomes crispy. Just a warning…they shrink down tremendously and get eaten very quickly so be sure to make plenty, and even fool around with different seasonings for fun.

I decided that I would have some white wine.  After all, my goal is not to deprive myself of the things I enjoy in life, but to enjoy them in moderation.  And the best part is, I was starting to believe that I could actually respect food and a glass of wine or two and not fall back into the habit of taking everything for granted. So yes, I had a nice Sauvignon Blanc, and really enjoyed each sip. And so did J.B. and her hubby, but not Alex. It’s just not his thing so much.

I must have had plenty of vitamins in me because wine can tend to make me tired. Especially with heavier foods, but not tonight. J.B. prepared an Indian rice dish, a vegetarian curry, some salads, and some type of a thin Indian bread. And for dessert, she served a mango type custard smoothie. It was a fabulous meal. But the beauty of it was that we could go out and enjoy ourselves and then make adjustments to our food intake and choices, the next day. This is what makes sense to me now. Just before bedtime, I even had a tablespoon of that Blue Bell vanilla ice cream in the freezer.

 Day 15           Susan:  144.5           Alex:  226

                        Susan Lost to Date:  9 lbs            Alex Lost to Date:  14 lbs

 Sunday

A half pound up.  So what?  (Alex was actually down 2.5 pounds.)  It was a great night out and today I would make some adjustments again. Last night’s dinner at J.B.’s was wonderful and super spicy, just the way I like it. I had a feeling this morning would be a party in the bathroom, and it was. I smiled as I visualized the numbers going down on the scale for tomorrow’s weigh in.

Back to the new normal. This morning’s shake consisted of kale, ½ orange, 1 kiwi, 1 celery, 1 scoop raw Meal Beyond Organic Meal Replacement Formula, carrot, 1c. Organic Girl super greens, ½ banana, ½ apple, ice, water.

Around 10am, I was feeling tired. Could it be the white wine from last night?  This whole new way of manipulating food and portions and calories and seeing great results was just too much fun to stop now. I was beginning to realize the difference between falling off the wagon and being dragged behind it. Falling off for an evening occasionally could be fine, as long as I still had the will power, desire, and stamina to catch up and hop back on.

When I weigh myself in the morning, I usually weigh in 3 times in a row to make sure I get an accurate number. If the scale lands on a bigger number even once, I write down the larger number and look at it as an advantage for a better loss opportunity for the next day’s weigh in.  It puts me in a positive state of mind and gives me the encouragement to bump that loss number up to a full pound.

Dinner: 1- 16oz. can tomato sauce, ½ small can of tomato paste, 2t. of Mount Eolus Greek Seasoning (From the Savory Spice Store – one in Denver on S. Platte and one in Boulder on/off Broadway), 3 Roma tomatoes choppedwhite and red onion, green pepper, ½ a shallot, a sprinkling of ancho chile pepper, garlic salt, and mint leaves to taste.  I sauteed it all up and spooned over spaghetti squash.

I also made a salad of Organic Girl’s “Power Greens.” It has about 5 different nutrient rich lettuces mixed together and I usually get it at Whole Foods. I added ½ an avocado sliced, ½ a chopped apple, and a little sliced red onion for a nice salad. Alex used olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and I love salads if they have some sort of cheese mixed in so I added some crumbled goat cheese, a little flavored rice vinegar, and a light spray of olive oil and mixed it all together with salt and pepper.  Delicious.

I also had lentils boiled up from earlier in the day. They come in really handy. I like to add “South Fork Italian Sausage Spice” that gives it the flavor of that tasty greasy sausage we used to add to everything. This is another fun spice that I picked up at the Savory Spice store in Denver. Add your seasonings to your own taste preferences. I chopped up some celery and carrots and green onions with most of the stem and cilantro too.  Man, this is one of my favorite things to eat now. I would suggest eating the lentils minimally. They tend to add more calories, so I try to add more veggies to it. This way it still feels like I’m eating lentil stew, but with less calories and plenty of veggie fiber.

Alex has started incorporating several dark chocolate covered acai and pomegranate berries into a night-time snack. He says it takes the edge off of wanting something sweet in the evenings. I’ll no doubt follow his lead at some point, but as I add things back in, I will be weighing myself every morning so that I have control ultimately, over the direction of my weight.

DAY 16          Susan:  143.5           Alex:  225.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  10.5 lbs      Alex Lost to Date:  14.5

 Monday

Yep, down again.  Things are moving along just fine. I added ½ of a fresh red beet (peeled) to this morning’s shake, along with ½ green pear, ½ and orange, a carrot, a leftover piece of kiwi, 2 dates, 2 c. spinach, a scoop of protein powder, 2 frozen banana chunks, and of course, water, and some ice. It was a deep rich red burgundy color with the hint of a beet taste, so adjust accordingly to your likes.

Lentil soup for lunch or dinner or both.  Bad notes here.  Sorry about that.  But it looks like I lost another pound on Day 17.  I think you’re starting to get the hang of it.

 After dinner, I had about 6-8 smoked almonds, 2 peanuts, 1T. slivered almonds

DAY 17          Susan:  142.5           Alex:  226

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11.5 lbs      Alex Lost to Date:  14 lbs

Tuesday

I’m treating my daughter Riann to lunch at a restaurant in Boulder today.  It’s called “Leaf.”  Yes, with a name like “Leaf” it is vegetarian.  Baby Phoenix is now 15 days old and will be joining us. But for breakfast, I’ve started off the day with a shake that contains a carrot, ½ a beet, ½ c. of frozen sweet cherries, about a cup and a half of Organic Girl Super Greens, ½ an apple, ½ an orange, ½ a frozen banana, 2 dates, vitamin C powder, another form of the Garden of Life brand protein powder. It’s the Raw Protein powder – not the “Meal Replacement” powder. It has less protein and less calories and I just wanted to try something a bit lighter today. It was very good. Even with just ½ a beet, you can still taste it, so adjust accordingly if you’re not crazy about beets.

It was about 1:15pm, and with the baby and all, Riann hadn’t yet been able to get out of the house to come grab me to head into Boulder for our lunch date. I felt a bit hungry and realized I hadn’t been drinking enough water. It’s easy to either forget, or just plain blow it off, so I grabbed a few bites of lentils from the fridge.

We lucked out. Phoenix slept through most of our lunch, allowing us to enjoy some exquisite looking dishes. We started out sharing a Tempura Avocado topped with mango salsa, that sat atop a black rice cake with sour-orange sesame reduction. Then each of us went our own way. I proceeded to have the Jamaican Jerk Tempeh with forbidden black rice, sautéed greens, coconut plantain sauce, and fruit salsa. Riann had the Vegan Enchiladas made with corn tortillas, winter squash, zucchini, corn, black and red beans, and cilantro rice, guacamole, roasted tomatillo and tomato sauce. And yes, there was enough for a doggie bag, as there is with EVERY meal when we eat out, if, we make it part of the procedure. Try either that, or split something with a partner and eat slowly and respectfully of the food.

For dinner, I just looked in the fridge and started pulling things out. When your fridge is stocked with all the right stuff, it’s easy to throw together a great meal without even thinking about it. I cut up some carrots, green and yellow squash, onion, green and red bell peppers, 1 anaheim pepper, some red cabbage, rutabaga, fresh sage, Lawry’s season salt, salt and pepper, and tossed together in a big mixing bowl with olive oil and Chipotle Pepper oil that I poured on my hands and mixed well, then broiled in the oven for about 15 or 20 minutes. The Chipotle oil has an unusual flavor that adds a unique taste to things. I found it at King Sooper’s with the oils in the salad dressings section.

 

DAY 18          Susan:  142.5           Alex:  223

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11.5 lbs     Alex Lost to Date:  17 lbs!!!

Wednesday

I made sure the right ingredients found their way into the blender again this morning. A stalk of celery, a carrot, ½ an orange, a handful of kale, ½ and apple, 1 kiwi, 3 dates, ½ a frozen banana, 1c. frozen pineapple, 1t. vitamin C, 1-1/2 scoops of Meal Replacement protein powder, and some fresh squeezed ginger juice drops. The hint of ginger was delightful with the pineapple, bringing the perfect balance with the veggies.

Lunch:  At this point, it’s just easy.  Leftovers in the fridge at lunchtime is a matter of eating whatever is in the fridge.

Dinner: I had another free cooking class at Whole Foods in the evening, so my meal was pretty much at the store. Cheryl, our teacher, sautéed up some greens, and a couple ladies brought in some healthy “seed” cookies and date balls. They were delicious. After I got home, before bed, I had a Raw Revolution Lemon Dew Bar. When you eat it, you will definitely know you are eating healthy.

I wanted to make sure Alex had a nice meal too, so I got creative and fixed him a plate of 6 Quorn Nuggets, a leftover tamale from the Leaf Restaurant, a green salad, and even saw his eyes light up when I placed 2 of the seeded vegan cookies and a lemon date ball from cooking class, in front of him. This new way of eating was getting so much easier. It seems like we started appreciating even the smallest things.

DAY 19          Susan:  142.5           Alex:  222.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11.5 lbs     Alex Lost to Date:  17.5 lbs

Thursday

J.B. and I had signed up to hear the famous Dr. Joel Fuhrman, speak at 6:30pm tonight in Boulder.  He is the author of several books, including Super Immunity, Eat to Live, and The End of Dieting.  Things like this had now begun to interest me. I was even starting to feel more comfortable visiting Boulder. With a pair of Birkenstocks, I could blend in nicely.

It didn’t matter what I threw in the blender anymore. I could have done it blindfolded and it was impossible to screw it up since everything within my reach wreaked of nutrition. That is, unless I was grabbing leeks. Sheesh. So this morning’s shake started with that necessary green that always screws up the color, kale, a couple of carrots, 3 dates, celery with leaves, a cup of frozen cherries, ½ a frozen banana, a cup of Organic Girl Super Greens (I like to use the greens that come already washed and ready to go.)  I also added 1-1/2 scoops of the full Meal Replacement protein powder, 1T. of organic chia seeds, ½ t. vitamin C powder, water, and ice.

I was out and about all afternoon so I grabbed a container of about 3/4c. of the California Quinoa Salad mixture from the deli at Whole Foods. It had edamame beans and veggies  mixed in. It was enough for a while. Then later, I ate a Raw Revolution Bar that seemed to last throughout the day.  Taking a bite here and there works well to keep the appetite under control.  Between those things and this morning’s shake that I still had with me, and a bag of walnuts mixed with dried cranberries, I was pretty much covered until dinnertime.

Dinner was another treat. I just can’t seem to stay away from the lentil soups. Alex loves it and frankly, so do I.  And lentils, a good protein source, are allowed on the cleanse so why not?

Lentil soup

Sauteed cod

Sautéed kale with sliced apples, onion, garlic, in veggie stock

2T. ice cream before bed

 DAY 20          Susan:  142              Alex:  222.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  12 lbs         Alex Lost to Date:  17.5 lbs

 Friday

BIG Snow day. Cancelled all meetings.  Alex told employees to stay home if at all possible.  Alex and I stayed home and worked.

Breakfast:   A shake with 1 kiwi, 1c. spinach, 1carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1T. chia seeds, 4T. organic Hemp Protein (8g) Dark Chocolate flavor, 1-1/2 to 2 frozen bananas, 1c. organic almond milk (40 cals), 2T. slivered almonds, 1c. frozen peaches. Delish!

Alex and I were at home working from our home office because of the snowstorm. Around 1:30pm, I heated up some yummy leftover lentil soup. There was some left over sautéed greens with the apple and onion, so I figured, what the heck? I ground it up and added it to the soup. I don’t think there’s any way to screw up that lentil soup.

At 2:30pm, I made us a frozen drink of 1c. of frozen strawberries, ½ frozen banana, 2c. frozen dark cherries, 4T. chocolate protein powder, 1c. almond milk, and water, and ice, if needed. So good!

At 2:15pm, I had 2 walnuts. I must remember to drink water throughout the day!

I hoped dinner would be special. After all, we were stuck at home in a snowstorm. A butternut squash topped with a leftover marinara in the fridge would soon become a tasty treat. I added a bag of the Quorn crumbles and some baby portobello mushrooms, chopped dill pickle, capers, and tomato sauce with seasonings, chopped onion, and tomatoes, and seasoned it just the way I like it to taste. Then I sautéed some asparagus in olive oil, with some slivered almonds, garlic salt, and salt and pepper.

Went to bed at 11:30pm, right after I had 3 walnuts and 3 peanuts in the shell. A perfect snow day.

 DAY 21          Susan:  143              Alex:  221

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11 lbs         Alex Lost to Date:  19 lbs

 Saturday

So I went up a pound, and Alex went down a pound and a half.  Of course it had to happen on the last day. But like I said, it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about the direction we go in, right?

Due to the continued snowstorm, Alex cancelled his acupuncture appointment with Dr. Fan. So we were home again, and it was our last day of the cleanse.  Tomorrow we would wake up and see the final results of our 21-day journey.

Didn’t really write our intake down today, since we’ve pretty much got the whole idea down and were able to make sensible choices.

 

DAY 22          Susan:  143              Alex:  222

                       Susan Lost to Date:  11 lbs         Alex Lost to Date:  18 lbs

 Sunday        THE FINAL WEIGHT LOSS RESULTS (ABOVE)

THE 21-DAY CLEANSE IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!!!   We feel it was very successful and we continued on for another 9 days, basically eating the same way.

 DAY 23          Susan:  141.5           Alex:  221

                        Susan Lost to Date:  12.5 lbs      Alex Lost to Date:  19 lbs

 DAY 24          Susan:  142              Alex:  220.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  12 lbs         Alex Lost to Date:  19.5 lbs

DAY 25          Susan:  143              Alex:  219.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11 lbs         Alex Lost to Date:  20.5 lbs

 DAY 26          Susan:  142.5           Alex:  218.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11.5 lbs      Alex Lost to Date:  21.5 lbs

 DAY 27          Susan:  143.5           Alex:  218

                        Susan Lost to Date:  10.5 lbs      Alex Lost to Date:  22 lbs

 DAY 28          Susan:  141.5           Alex:  218

                        Susan Lost to Date:  12.5 lbs      Alex Lost to Date:  22 lbs

 DAY 29          Susan:  142.5           Alex:  220.5

                        Susan Lost to Date:  11.5 lbs      Alexs Lost to Date:  19.5 lbs

 DAY 30          Susan:  142              Alex:  221

                        Susan Lost to Date:  12 lbs         Alex Lost to Date:  19 lbs

 This plan is based on the Standard Process Cleanse.   Their website is:  www.standardprocess.com

I used to think shakes, any time of the day were a waste.  Who wants to drink their meals?  Not me.

Growing up in Detroit in the 50’s and 60’s was all about fried food, pizza, and drag racing up and down Woodward after dark in my friend Margot’s boyfriend’s pale yellow GTO, but if you move to Boulder, CO, you quickly learn that eating takes on a whole different meaning.

**** Don’t forget to ask your natural grocer about the ANDI scale, a quick, simple way to see the level of nutrients for the foods you choose.

Get creative and have fun with things like organic red kale – sprayed with olive oil and salt & pepper, baked at 350 for 20 min or so.  Mix up spices you’ve never tried before and think outside the box.

Last of all, slow way the heck down and just savor each bite slowly in your mouth.  Put the fork down and have conversation, or read a couple pages.  It’s not about getting full, it’s about experiencing and respecting smaller portions of the right food that will ultimately bring you satisfaction in multiple areas.

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

Susan

One thought on “PART 3 – Confessions of a Junk Food Junkie – The 21 Day Cleanse

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